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  1. #1

    Default Leader/tippet questions

    A subject which i'm sure has been done to death but i have a few questions..
    What are people's thought's on how to build your leaders, and what do you use for your leaders/tippets, especially for dry fly fishing?

    I know there are some who prefer say, just 2-3 lengths of tapered mono/fluorocarbon and a tippet, there are others who prefer 6,7,8 or more lengths.

    So far in my fishing i've tied my leaders with 4 or 5 different sections of mono , with a fluorocarbon tippet, mainly because I have most of this line left over from coarse fishing. Except for the greys fluoro, which is very cheap for some reason, i think it must be because it's quite thick for the breaking strain. I do actually think it's decent line though.

    I tried using some shop bought leaders last season and couldn't get on with them, ended up chopping bits off to add on to my leaders. I think for this season i'll get some thicker mono for the butt end and make them with a couple more sections, i need some new tippet material and might stick with fluorocarbon, perhaps in a lower diameter...

    So how do you build your leader/tippet set ups and what do you prefer to use?

    thanks
    matt

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Middlesbrough, UK
    Posts
    299

    Default Re: Leader/tippet questions

    Are you fishing stillwaters or rivers? Dries or nymphs?

    I make a leader suitable for the rod Iím using & that itís turning over nicely. I usually achieve that with a couple of different bits of tippet. Say from 8lb down to 5lb then down to 2lb for dry flies.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  3. #3

    Default Re: Leader/tippet questions

    I keep it simple, if there's a ripple I use furled leaders from Mr T but for flat calms and glassy glides I like to use shop bought nylon tapered leaders which I chop to suit the fly line. I always buy cheap tapered leaders these days as I don't trust the fine end of any which I've seen over the years, I tie on a tippet ring where it feels like the tapered leader has about 4 lb breaking strain then tie on some 3 lb Maxima to suit, usually about a yard of it. Length of leader is down to how spooky the fish are.

    I don't usually use tapered leaders if I set out to fish nymphs, I usually stagger the weights of them and they turn over well enough.
    Musha rig um du rum da

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Wiltshire
    Posts
    6,942

    Default Re: Leader/tippet questions

    Matt,

    I'm a guide on the chalkstreams and I soon got fed up with making up leaders. I bought a lot of very cheap tapered leaders on here - 9' down to 6lb and 5lb. The 6lb is for mayfly time.

    All I do is to chop about 18" off the thin end, add a tippet ring and then tie in a 3' tippet section. 6lb Gigafish for mayflies and 3.7lb for the rest. Gives us a 10' leader to be fished on 8'6" rods. I might extend the tippet section if I feel the need.

    (Note to self: buy more leaders for next season - it ain't too far away.)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    2,091

    Default Re: Leader/tippet questions

    I tie my own sometimes using 3 sections and use ones out of packet, i found maxcatch tapers excellent vfm at £8.50 for 10x 12ft tapers.

    Al
    Last edited by speytime; 12-01-2019 at 12:44 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    58

    Default Re: Leader/tippet questions

    For dry flies and spiders i use a furled leader of different lengths for different waters and then add tippet to a tippet ring. Simple but effective and not having to straighten the mono is a big plus.
    Pete

  7. #7

    Default Re: Leader/tippet questions

    For me the gold standard for a river dry fly set up is a 9í 5lb hardy tapered leader to which I add the tiniest of loops to the end by tying a blood knot or tucked blood knot around a fine needle and adding a TINY drop of superglue to hold it all in place before quickly removing the needle. Itís then easy to add a tippet of your choice ( Stroft ABR in my case) and replace it as necessary without shortening the tapered leader itself. Itís quite possible to get a season out of a single leader with this method but you might need to swap the loop a couple of times in doing so.

    Works a treat for me, put the rivers international trophy on the mantle piece using it so canít be that far off the mark.

    When I talk of Hardy tapered leaders iím referring to the ones produced before the 2018 season. Iíve not used the latest ones so canít comment as I put a lifetime supply of the old ones in the fridge before they were discontinued just to be certain but Iím sure the latest ones will be perfectly ok, maybe even better, who knows.

    Doesnít need to get any more complicated than that imho.

    Andy

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Derbyshire
    Posts
    1,502

    Default Re: Leader/tippet questions

    Given your experience, Andy, I'm guessing you've tried and rejected tippet rings? I like their simplicity and durability - I'd be scared of nipping through a leader 'ring'. What are the advantages of your system? (I'm not questioning what you do, I'd just like to know more).
    https://troutsearcher.blogspot.co.uk/

  9. #9

    Default Re: Leader/tippet questions

    The loops I make are very durable so long as you stay away from them with your snips which is very easily done so not a problem and durability is the only advantage a steel tippet ring can have over my set up IMO.

    Using my set up I have effectively a (tucked) blood knot to blood knot connection via a tiny nylon loop. With a tippet ring I have the same blood knot to blood knot connection but via a relatively large 1.8mm or larger steel ring. So my set up has a smaller more streamlined foot print with less disturbance on the water when laying it down and more importantly picking it back up again and my nylon loop has a density of just over 1 versus almost 8 for the steel ring which whilst I admit can sit comfortably in the surface tension ( especially when Ďginkedí up) on flat water, is much more prone to sinking in broken water where the action of the surface water can help the leader to break through the surface tension which isnít good when it has a steel ring in the middle of it!

    Thatís my thinking at least.

    Andy.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Derbyshire
    Posts
    1,502

    Default Re: Leader/tippet questions

    Thanks for that. It makes sense. I'll give it a go and see how I get on when the season starts.
    https://troutsearcher.blogspot.co.uk/

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